Alder and Department of Health

Application number:
Decision date:
Wednesday, Aug 29, 2007

Alder and Department of Health (Department of Health) (210292)

Section 77(1)(a) Refusal to deal

The applicant sought review of a deemed decision of the respondent agency to deny access to certain reports in relation to his son.  The applicant contended that the reports existed and had not been disclosed to him by the agency.In a previous external review concerning the applicant and the respondent, Assistant Commissioner Corby provided the applicant with information about, and made findings concerning, the nature of the database from which reports are printed, the filing and destruction practices of the agency in relation to such reports and the meaning of certain entries in the database. 

In reliance upon Carr J in the matter of McGlade v Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and Another [2000] 180 ALR 507, who set out the requirements to be satisfied in determining whether a matter was misconceived, Assistant Commissioner Corby found in relation to this external review that: the decision in the previous external review had made it clear that there was no reasonable basis to conclude that reports of the type he had sought in this review existed; there was no likelihood that this application for external review would succeed on its merits; and, the application was misconceived.  Accordingly, Assistant Commissioner Corby decided to apply section 77(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 and not deal with the applicant’s application for external review on the basis that it was misconceived.